Will Bratt to replace F1's Roberto Merhi at Silverstone FR3.5 round

Former British Touring Car racer Will Bratt has struck a late deal to stand in for Manor Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi at this weekend's Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5 round

Bratt will make his debut in the series with Pons Racing, while Merhi contests F1's Italian Grand Prix.

His last single-seater drive came in a FIA Formula 2 meeting at the Nurburgring in July 2011, before budget difficulties led to a decision to abort the campaign.

"It's a huge surprise to be racing in Formula Renault 3.5 this weekend at Silverstone, but a very pleasant one, and a really fantastic opportunity to be back racing at such a high level, too," said Bratt.

"It's going to be a big leap back in at the deep end, as I haven't even climbed into the cockpit of a single-seater since F2 in 2011, but I'll be giving it 100 per cent as I always do.

"When [team boss] Sito [Pons] offered us the chance to stand-in for Roberto, we jumped at it, especially with the races being at Silverstone.

"The championship is as competitive as it's ever been, so it's not going to be easy.

"But I know the guys at Pons will give me a great car, and if we can make progress across the weekend I'll be very happy."

Bratt has previously worked with Pons team manager Emilio de Villota Jr in the 2008 Spanish Formula 3 championship, in which he finished fifth, the year before winning the Euroseries 3000 title.

"It's going to be fantastic working with Emilio again, we struck-up an incredible relationship when I raced with his team in Spanish F3," continued Bratt.

"We're not under any illusions as to how much of a challenge the weekend will present, but I'm determined to grab the opportunity with both hands and do the best job possible for all the guys at Pons."

More recently, Bratt competed in the British Touring Car Championship for Rob Austin's Audi team in 2012 and '13 and contested the Spa 24 Hours For United Autosports.


GP2 racer Marlon Stockinger to finish FR3.5 season with Lotus

Nick Yelloly to make Formula Renault 3.5 return at Silverstone